International Collaboration

DICE strategic initiative on transatlantic cooperation
Around the globe, other multi-domain networking research networks use a diverse range of technologies, operational approaches and procedures within their own individual networking domain. The increasing interest in international research and education co-operation drives and supports the development of research networking services on a global scale. There is a need to deliver services and applications that can traverse these domains and provide a seamless networking experience to the user.

GÉANT is involved in finding networking solutions to facilitate this concept of “multi-domain” networking services both across Europe and on a global scale.
DICE is an operational collaboration between European and North American Research and Education Networking partners. The main focus is on optimising transatlantic networking operations for all research and education users and interest extends to common development of network services. Europe is represented in the DICE collaboration through GÉANT. In North America the current partners are Internet2, ESNet, Indiana University, CANARIE and USLHCNet.

The DICE collaboration includes workshops and ongoing collaboration in specific areas within the GÉANT research programme, where engineers work together to advance research for the benefit of all.

The different areas of work for technical collaboration are:
  • General network operations
  • Joint transatlantic circuit planning , engineering and operations co-ordination
  • Implementation and monitoring of point-to-point circuits
  • Transatlantic multi-domain diagnostics and dynamic circuit-provisioning services

Providing transatlantic services
One of the major successes of the DICE collaboration has been the extension of the GÉANT Bandwidth-on-Demand and Multi-domain Monitoring Services to create transatlantic dynamic circuit-provisioning and network-monitoring service pilots.

Starting in 2011, the service pilots are the culmination of close collaborative work by network engineers on both sides of the Atlantic. This work has ensured that the diagnostic and dynamic circuit-provisioning tools used by the DICE partners and participating NRENs in Europe and regional networks in the US are able to interoperate, providing seamless end-to-end services.

Using the Bandwidth-on-Demand Service, NOC engineers at participating European NRENs can now provision end-to-end circuits to ESnet or Internet2 in the United States. Counterpart network engineers in the US can also create dynamic circuits to Europe, bringing the advantages of speedy circuit-provisioning and network efficiency to transatlantic research and education networking community.

The Diagnostics Service harnesses the interoperability of perfSONAR MDM used in Europe and the perfSONAR PS tool used in the US to enable users, primarily NOC and PERT engineers network, to access network measurement data sourced from measurement points in multiple network domains, helping them to identify connectivity issues and their solutions more speedily.

A view to the future
In order to the keep in step with the needs of the European and North American Research and Education Communities, the DICE Collaboration maintains dialogue on new potential areas for collaboration. Possible themes for the future include security, videoconferencing exchanges, middleware, increased transatlantic connectivity, open exchanges and software-defined networking.